"There are countless versions in the catalogue of this concerto (probably the most difficult solo cello part to play completely convincingly in the current popular repertoire - it's HARD!) and many play "very well"....Lyn Harrell, Paul Tortelier, Mistislav Rostropovich, Heinrich Schiff, but the overall picture and feel which MUST be portrayed beyond the notes is normally missing to a degree in these and certainly in almost all others (including Yo yo Ma, Jaqueline Du Pre and many many others eauuuch). The technical playing of Fournier is without question particularly authoritative and impressive (all cellists agree!) - the right hand/bowing phrasing is special in a way which is just unforgettable and rich in tone....and the left hand contact and articulation with the strings never less than brilliant and inspired - but beyond that, the romantic sweep, ultimate control and passionate throb of the playing on ALL 4 strings - even high on the fingerboard with the A string (and D) - is unmatched even after 40 years! If you really want to hear one of THE definitive concerto recordings of the gramophone catologue (up there with Josef Hoffman's Chopin concerto recordings) then this is it. You don't necessarily need to be a cellist to appreciate the sheer gifted and beautifully thought-out musical tapestry beyond the bounds of mere cello-playing which is represented in this deeply passionate, and unforgettable performance . It will be up there on your SPECIAL list. Play it LOUD!!!! Beijingfox@hotmail.com"
Quality belies price
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording of the Dvorak Cello Concerto is a performance in which the accompaniment is fully half of the equation. Szell gives the contrasting moods of the orchestral part a symphonic tautness. The cellist holds his own magnificently, fully matching Szell's electricity. The 1962 recording sounds amazingly good. Listen to the paired winds in the second movement theme to get a good idea of how transparent the sound is. The other two pieces are well done, too. The Bloch piece is remarkably atmospheric in spite of the soloist's close balance."
For many, the definitive Dvorák Concerto
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though the 'warhorse concerti' each have champions, there are few who would deny the elegance and passion that Pierre Fournier brought to this treasured Dvorák Cello Concerto in B minor. This recording is a true bargain at the current price and one that every lover of classical music should own. Fournier is accompanied by George Szell and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra here and the forces are formidable. The long orchestral introduction of the concerto builds climatically for the soulful entrance of the cello, and once Fournier begins to spin his magic, the ensemble and conductor meld cohesively into a performance that even on these recording standards of the time are breathtaking.
As a special bonus on this 'collected album' Fournier brings the soul of the Schelomo rhapsody of Bloch (the Berlin orchestra is conducted by Alfred Wallenstein this time) and the Bruch 'Kol Nidrei' with the compassionate forces of the Lamoureux Concert Association Orchestra under the baton of Jean Martinon behind him. These additional works provide a fine framework for the Dvorák and Fournier is in top form for each of them.
There may just be another contender for the spotlight for the Dvorák concerto (another besides the luminous presence of Yo-Yo Ma) in the emergence of a fine young cellist from Germany, Johannes Moser. At a recent concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, guest conducted by Zubin Mehta, Moser proved to be not only capable of the technical demands of the work, but also an artist with a gift for elegance and surety of line and phrase that brought the audience to its feet cheering. He is a talent to watch! Grady Harp, December 07 "
Very personal account!
David Lee | Canada | 10/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The level of concentration throughout in this set of recordings is amazing...even though some may not know it, the Lamoreux orchestra is one of the very finest and it is the oldest orchestra in Paris. All of the recordings are top notch and are played with polish.
As a backgrounder, you may want to investigate the 1936 Casals/Szell coupling of the Dvorak on EMI! Wonderful in different ways!"
A wise choice after the electrifying version of Pablo Casals